E S. Neumann

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - rail


Technological innovations, Shuttle service, Pneumatic equipment, People movers, Passenger conveyors, Monorail transportation, Las Vegas (Nevada), Feeder services, Automated people movers, Automated guideway transit, AGT, Advanced technology


It is not widely known, but Las Vegas, Nevada, is home to a relatively large number of small scale Automated People Mover (APM) systems that serve the internal site-circulation needs of resorts. In fact, Las Vegas may be considered the birthplace of contemporary, low-cost, cable-propelled systems designed specifically to serve urban needs in North America. The distinctive feature of a shuttle system installed at the Circus-Circus resort in 1981 was the guideway design and pneumatic rubber tires riding on a concrete running surface. Emulating the suspension technology used by the self-propelled APMs, the pneumatic tires offered weight reduction in the vehicle and guideway, as well as a quieter ride. Other systems can be found in Primm and Carson City, Nevada. In addition to the cable- and belt-propelled systems, two systems feature self-propelled vehicles in Las Vegas: one connecting the main terminal and satellite terminal at McCarran International Airport and the Bombardier Mark IV Monorail, which connects the MGM Grand and Bally's resorts. Efforts to construct a publicly funded, regional, fixed guideway transit system are moving forward. Clark County has the highest concentration of such urban systems in the nation (perhaps the world) and has been a testing ground for many technological advances. Most of the systems feature cable or belt propulsion and a shuttle mode of operation. Because of environments like Las Vegas, suppliers appear to be moving toward the long-held goal of the APM industry to develop low-cost, highly reliable systems for moving moderate numbers of passengers over relatively short distances. The potential applications of low-cost systems featuring vehicles propelled by cable or belt are numerous. Besides their proven ability to serve resorts, they can be used in the large parking lots of shopping centers and sports arenas and as feeders to mass-transit stations.